I come from the land of the ice and snow
After over a year of waiting, I finally found a Tikka T1x in .22LR (one was sold out from under me while I was at SHOT this year, ironically). I handled one at SHOT 2018 and was impressed, but acquiring one of my own proved difficult up until now. The production model I finally found did not disappoint, however. Getting to the range with the rifle would be another agonizing wait. I received the gun at the beginning of what would turn out to be the snowiest month ever recorded in my area. After a very long month of constant shoveling and snowplow work, I was determined to get some range time.
Tikka T1X – Tooling up
The Tikka T1x does not come with any sights or optics, just an 11mm dovetail on top of the receiver. The receiver is also drilled and tapped should one want to attach a rail section, but I chose to mount my optic using some lightweight Warne 7.3/22 1″ rings. For an optic, I picked up a Prostaff Rimfire II for a song. My total setup, rifle included, was under $600.00.
Trapped under ice
Another obstacle lay in my way – my range was snowed under. The mile-plus long-range road was impossible to plow in such extreme conditions, and I had to wait a few days after the snow ended for extreme avalanche dangers to subside a bit. After a few clear days, I strapped on some snowshoes, loaded up a range pack, and headed out to do the good work of TFB. Initial inspection of the range revealed that all but the 25-yard stakes were buried. Initial sight in and testing took place at 25 yards by default.
Don’t scare the Moose
Wintering moose and avalanche danger necessitated that I use a suppressor, so I mounted an old Gemtech Outback II on to the factory threaded barrel. I fired some ten shot groups prone with a snow mound as support. The Tikka T1x had an excellent performance right off the bat. Groups are 10 shots, measured center-center @25y.
- Wolf Performance 40gr Match: .35″
- CCI Mini-Mag HP 36gr: .3″
- Lapua Polar Biathlon: .14″
Satisfied with the initial zero and accuracy test, I moved on to the few longer range targets that were barely exposed above the snow. Peeking out like Imperial probe droids on ice planet Hoth, the headboxes of steel targets were visible at 100, 150, and 200 yards. The Tikka T1x has a ridiculously good factory trigger – the standard Tikka trigger in fact. Adjustable between 2-4lbs, mine broke cleanly and crisply every time at 3.1lbs. Hits were too easy from prone, so I did some shooting from standing and kneeling positions as well. Hits kept coming one after another, including on a 3.5×1.5″ eyebox target at 200y. The rifle’s short bolt lift and throw were easy to master, and I’ve experienced zero malfunctions so far.
My initial assessment of the Tikka T1x is that it is well built and capable of great accuracy at a very reasonable price. Keep tuned to TFB for a more in-depth long term review of the Tikka T1x to come.